Changing transmission filter on 2015 Rav 4

Getting ready to change trans filter at 62.5K miles on 2015 Rav 4. Already changed fluid about 8 or 9 times so I’ve got that down pat. I had two 1994 camrys and a 2005 camry where I changed those filters by removing the pans/bolts. Maybe I’m older but worried about breaking a bolt. Should I spray them 1st with WD40 and then remove or just remove. Then when replacing bolts after filter is changed, should I just coat them with trans fluid??? Don’t think I want to put anti seize on them. Thoughts or comments please? thanks. Guess I’m getting older and worried. Don’t need a snapped bolt to deal with.

The transmission fluid??? YIKES! That’s way too often.

I agree; there’s no need to change it that often. Every 25 to 35k miles is fine.

Don’t worry about breaking a bolt. The odds of transmission pan bolts being frozen are very slim. Also, forget the WD-40. That is not a good product for loosening bolts. PB Blaster is far better.
Don’t worry about coating the trans bolts with anything.

thanks. I change fluid a lot as it’s a drop and only replaces 50% of the fluid. Gives me something to do. Haven’t done the filter yet on the rav as you can see. The camrys were changed at 60K intervals. Thanks for your comments. I’ve done what you’ve said in the past (no spray, no coat the bolts replacing). Never had leaks either so I hope that is the case this time.

I don’t think he means on THIS vehicle…

It can’t hurt to WD40 the bolts before you take them out. When they go back in, I personally like a little blue threadlocker. It means they won’t back out on their own and it coats the threads like anti-seize helping to keep corrosion between the zinc plated bolt and the aluminum trans case from locking them in place. The heads on these bolts usually have “teeth” on the underside to keep them from loosening.

the other thing, the trans pan has that plastic overflow tube that you’re supposed to allow excess drain before closing with the drain plug. When I did my 1st fluid change, it drained about a half to full quart or so before I even took the plastic tube out. That means the factory overfilled or I read wrong on how to do it so I just put in what comes out (about 2 5/8s quarts).

yeah, when I bought new bolts just in case for my 1994 camrys, the dealer had some blue solid coated on part of the bolts. I still have them. In the past, I’ve never done anything but replaced the bolts and waited 60K for the next filter change. I don’t like anti seize like for plugs as I don’t want that to seep into the trans fluid somehow (not that it could).

A 4qt drain/fill is $25 using proper fluid. Same as an oil change. You might do 2-3 oil changes each year. And rarely do trans fluid changes. My fill port is tucked down behind front motor mount. Gm could have installed a 12” metal tube riser to make life easy? No.

That was the dry form of thread-locker. Even if you use anti-seize, the gasket keeps it from entering the pan.

my fill is behind the driver wheel. I’ve got that down pat. I change the fluid between 5 and 9K usually and use valvoline max life or super tech fluid VI which are Toyota WS replacements. Never had a problem with the Rav. The camrys, I used mostly Super Tech or Castrol import fluid.

yes, it is but I had a trans go (1987 grand am) so I am anal with my toyotas/hondas/kia.

thanks for all of your comments. Good people on this site. Pretty soon I’ll stop as I’m in my 60’s. I get dizzy/nauseous under cars now laying on my back.

Just for others who might have a Rav 4 (2013-2018) and I believe a Camry in that area which had the same engine/trans. I did my filter change yesterday. 65.1K miles. the bolts were so easy to get out (18 of them) except 2 at the curve in the pan farthest from the bumper. Those 2 had to be turned 4 or 5 times to get them to be loose whereas the others were able to be removed by hand after cracking. Those 2 were the only ones with Locktite (blue) on them??? For the one bolt behind that metal bar, I bought a 3/8" wiggle/swivel adaptor but it’s still to big to get on the bolt head. I tried a 1/4" 10mm 6 point with the screw driver attachment and it fit easily. Had to use the 1/4" socket on the screwdriver for torque. The pan started to leak a lot when all bolts were loosened. I drained the fluid from the drain plug. 2.5 quarts normally comes out. Then the pan loosed up on it’s own and dropped off before the last 2 nuts were removed. When I put the pan down, the gasket popped off on it’s own. It was really hard (like plastic from age/heat but I know it was rubber). No issues at all so far. Then I cleaned the pan which had some gray metal dust on 4 magnets and around them. The filter was removed (2 bolts) easily. It popped out when tugged on due to the rubber O-ring. About another 1.5 qts of fluid fell out. It was clean inside but the filter paper was a tinge of gray. It did have a plastic mesh netting on the paper so I guess it doesn’t break free into the trans. It was a Denso OEM. I bought a Beck Arnley filter from Rock Auto and it was just paper. The filter fit right in and I bolted it down. There is a wire harness that is just against the filter but I left it alone (don’t think it was under the 1st filter as it might get crushed). I tightened the 2 bolts fairly snug with the 1/4" drive. I put 4 bolts through the new gasket (rubber) to hold it against the pan. I put all 18 bolts back with the 1/4" drive and snugged them 3X alternating on all sides. In total, almost 4 quarts came out (some spillage from the filter flow when pulled off). I added 3 3/4 quarts of super tech (LV / Mercon VI) and Valvoline Max Life. I used the same washers on the drain plug and fill hole as I’m going to drive it a few months and drop/fill with my std. 2.6 quarts fluid to get the fill amount close to normal from factory. It sat 4 hours and no leaks. This took me about 3 1/2 hours from start to finish. I drove it 0.5 mile and no leaks. I drove it 20 miles today and no leaks. I’ve done 3 other camrys trans filters (3 times each when owned 200K miles before trade in so I never had a leak on those). Hope this helps anyone who might do one on a Rav 4 or camry. Thanks again for all other comments months ago when I started this thread.